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Page: Pentecost Island - Home to Land Diving Ritual

Pentecost Island

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Pentecost land dive mural

Famous for the Naghol or land diving ritual, which usually takes place on Saturdays in April and May. Jumpers select their own vines and construct the platform on the jump tower which can reach to 30 metres height. The significance of Naghol is to guarantee a plentiful yam harvest the following year, although its tradition is based on an ancient legend – see Land Dive page, in our Vanuatu category.

Father Walter Hadye Lini (1942-1999), Vanuatu’s founding Prime Minister, came from the northern part of the island, where the people are Anglican. (The road running past Worawia Holiday Haven is named after Father Lini – Fr Dr Lini highway, previously known as Kumul highway.)

In the centre of Pentecost island, people are Catholics, while the south part of the island is where the culture and customs are quite different and where the ritual of Naghol or N’ghol has been practiced for centuries. The land diving ritual probably inspired the modern bungy jumping, after the New Zealander A.J. Hackett watched the ceremony and invented the modern version in 1986, when he did probably the first modern bungy jump off the Eiffel Tower in Paris. Two years later bungy jumping became a modern craze.


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